Electoral Battlefield Update

I was just running my latest electoral prediction when I noticed that Stephen Green has the same prediction that I did state-by-state. This is the first time it’s looked like either candidate could break 300 electoral votes. I do believe that this is the low water mark for Kerry and probably the high water mark for Bush. I’m doubtful that Bush will win in New Hampshire or Iowa, but it isn’t impossible either.

One thing that is increasingly clear is that the Kerry campaign is becoming more and more screwed as time goes on. I think the current strategy of turning Iraq into Vietnam II is a terrible one (see how well it worked for Dean), and that Kerry’s mishmash of advisors are steering him straight into electoral oblivion. Kerry is running out of time to turn this thing around, and he must perform well in the debates. However, Kerry’s numbers seem to go down the more he’s seen, so I’m not sure even that can save him at this point. It’s still far too premature to declare this race a fait accompli, but Kerry now has an even larger hill to climb than he did at the beginning of the month. Bush’s convention bounce is nearly two weeks old, and hasn’t receded all that much. The Democratic-leaning Zogby poll has Bush up by several points, and the Democrats are already seeing the writing on the wall.

Kerry has a reputation is a solid debater and a good performer in the last few weeks of a campaign. The question is now: is that enough or would it take a miracle (or a disaster) to keep Kerry from joining his former boss in the Massachusetts liberal Hall of Shame?

2 thoughts on “Electoral Battlefield Update

  1. I have mixed feelings about Kerry’s current strategy of trying to win the war on Iraq. It’s basically his best bet given that focusing on domestic issues amidst headlines of hundreds more deaths attributed to Bush’s war in Iraq would see inappropriate. Obviously, it’s going to be a challenge for Kerry to articulate a sophisticated alternative position and condense it into a 10-second Republican-style soundbyte. The small minds of swing voters won’t be patient enough to bother listening to a Kerry speel that goes on for (gasp!) more than 30 seconds, especially with the football season now underway. With that in mind, Kerry needs to articulate himself as concisely as he did today, helping himself look like a more effective alternative to an incumbent that should be prosecuted for war crimes rather than rewarded with re-election.

    As for the polls and the red state-blue state horse race, the “Democratic-leaning pollster” Zogby (I’m sure that’s news to him) showed Bush leading by three points (back when I was in school, three didn’t constitute “several”). Zogby’s polls calculate voter samples representative of recent party affiliation rates, while Gallup, Newsweek and others feign Bush leads by pretending the GOP has a 5-7 party affilation advantage, which isn’t even remotely close to reality. Perhaps this is why Gallup’s final 2000 poll was off by more than 13 points.

    I’m inclined to believe Kerry has a stronger hold on Iowa than Minnesota, and would be surprised if Bush won either New Hampshire or Pennsylvania. Bush could win Wisconsin, but I suspect Kerry will prevail barring a major campaign meltdown. I never would have suspected Kerry to be competitive in Colorado at this point in the race, even though I suspect he’ll follow in the footsteps of 2002 Senate candidate Ted Strickland in falling on the losing end of high expectations for a Democrat in a Republican state. In my opinion, Kerry was incredibly stupid in conceding Missouri and Arkansas, both of which seemed at least marginally winnable. Given that he’s all but surrendered them, he’s down to four other pink states where he has a chance to win…Ohio, Florida, Nevada and West Virginia. I’ve long dismissed West Virginia as unlikely Kerry country, but recent poll numbers indicate it’s still not a done deal for Bush. The other three are all likely to fall into the column of whoever closes well. Recent polls showing Bush with huge leads in Ohio are laughable, and unless Kerry pulls out of that state the way he did MO and AR, he’ll likely win it.

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